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Remove FF Guarded Searching (Free Instructions) - Virus Removal Instructions

removal by Julie Splinters - - | Type: Adware

Malicious websites aggressively ask to install FF Guarded Searching add-on

Image of FF Guarded Searching scam website

FF Guarded Searching is a suspicious Mozilla Firefox extension which is harshly promoted via guardedsearchingext.xyz domain. After the installation, this potentially unwanted program (PUP) might replace browser’s search engine and prevent users from reverting these changes. Additionally, it might display tons of aggressive advertisements.

As we have just mentioned, so-called FF Guarded Searching virus is being promoted via the compromised website which uses a malicious JavaScript code. Usually, users get redirected to this site when they visit potentially dangerous websites, for instance, adult-themed, illegal movie streaming or similar sites.

When users end up on the guardedsearchingext.xyz website, they receive a pop-up saying that Firefox prevented from installing FF Guarded Searching extension and gives instructions how users should allow its installation.

The malicious website also gives what permissions FF Guarded Searching malware needs:

  • Access your data for all websites;
  • Access browser tabs.

These permissions give PUP the ability to display commercial content on each website you visit, including pop-ups, in-text ads, banners and other types of online advertisements. Additionally, the program might trigger redirects to questionable sites.

Originally, FF Guarded Searching redirect activities are needed for developers to generate revenue from driving traffic to affiliate websites. However, security specialists report that this adware-type cyber threat might force you to visit phishing, technical support scam or even malicious sites where you can suffer from serious cyber crimes.

Therefore, installation of this malicious add-on should be avoided. However, if you accidentally install it, you might find problems with its removal. FF Guarded Searching scam is designed in a way that it might block access to about:addons tab. As soon as the user tries to access Firefox add-ons, the PUP will close it.

Thus, in order to remove FF Guarded Searching from the browser, you will need to run Mozilla Firefox in Safe Mode or reset the browser itself. At the end of the article, you will find detailed instructions how to complete these tasks.

However, you should also consider automatic FF Guarded Searching removal using reputable anti-malware software. We recommend scanning the device with Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego and after that resetting the browser to make sure that PUP is gone for good.

Imange of FF Guarded Searching virusFF Guarded Searching is a highly suspicious Mozilla Firefox add-on which is promoted on malicious websites.

Malicious Firefox extension use aggressive techniques to force users into installing it

While the majority browser hijacker or adware-type programs spread with the help of software bundling, FF Guarded Searching hijack is not expected to occur in this way. As we have revealed in the beginning, it is aggressively promoted on malicious websites.

Researchers detected that guardedsearchingext.xyz is one of the domains that spread this add-on. Users typically end up on it when they visit a potentially dangerous website which triggers redirect to it. Even though users can close unexpectedly opened promotional website, these redirects might repeat itself.

This PUP might display a misleading page telling that “Firefox requires a manual update” in order to protect users activities online. It might also deliver fake prompt windows that ask for authentication by entering particular username or password. Obviously, users have no clue what credentials they should type. For this reason, they might be tricked that installing this add-on can solve the problem because malware prevents from closing this browser’s tab.

Though, if you cannot exit this page or close the browser, you should run Windows Task Manager[1] by simultaneously clicking Ctrl + Alt + Del keys and killing Firefox process.

However, security specialists from utanvirus.se[2] warn that downloading extensions, plugins or updates from such websites might lead to infiltration of more threatening cyber threats than PUPs. Therefore, you should never install unknown applications from redirect websites.

FF Guarded Searching uninstall instructions

Unfortunately, you won’t be able to remove FF Guarded Searching as an ordinary Firefox add-on. This potentially unwanted application prevents users from accessing the list of extensions unless they reset the browser or run Firefox in Safe Mode by following these steps:

  1. Open Firefox and click the menu button.
  2. Navigate to Help.
  3. Click Restart with Add-ons Disabled… option.
  4. It will deliver Firefox Safe Mode pop-up where you have to choose either Start in Safe Mode or Refresh Firefox options. Choose the one you prefer.

Starting in Safe Mode option will temporarily disable the extensions and other customizations you made to the browser. Thus, you should be able to delete FF Guarded Searching add-on. If you choose Refresh Firefox option,[3] you will reset browser’s factory settings and save specific information.

However, you can also opt for the automatic FF Guarded Searching removal which allows terminating this suspicious extension with the help of security software. However, don’t forget to update your anti-malware tool before running a full system scan.

You may remove virus damage with a help of Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego. SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner and Malwarebytes are recommended to detect potentially unwanted programs and viruses with all their files and registry entries that are related to them.

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If you failed to remove virus damage using Reimage Intego, submit a question to our support team and provide as much details as possible.
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Alternative Software
Different software has a different purpose. If you didn’t succeed in fixing corrupted files with Reimage, try running SpyHunter 5.
Alternative Software
Different software has a different purpose. If you didn’t succeed in fixing corrupted files with Intego, try running Combo Cleaner.

To remove FF Guarded Searching, follow these steps:

Remove FF Guarded Searching from Windows systems

To remove FF Guarded Searching adware from the computer, you should check for the suspicious components installed to the system. Additionally, you have to reset Firefox or restart it in Safe Mode in order to get rid of all malicious add-ons.

To remove FF Guarded Searching from Windows 10/8  machines, please follow these steps:

  1. Enter Control Panel into Windows search box and hit Enter or click on the search result.
  2. Under Programs, select Uninstall a program.Uninstall from Windows 1
  3. From the list, find entries related to FF Guarded Searching (or any other recently installed suspicious program).
  4. Right-click on the application and select Uninstall.
  5. If User Account Control shows up, click Yes.
  6. Wait till uninstallation process is complete and click OK.Uninstall from Windows 2

If you are Windows 7/XP user, proceed with the following instructions:

  1. Click on Windows Start > Control Panel located on the right pane (if you are Windows XP user, click on Add/Remove Programs).
  2. In Control Panel, select Programs > Uninstall a program.Uninstall from Windows 7/XP
  3. Pick the unwanted application by clicking on it once.
  4. At the top, click Uninstall/Change.
  5. In the confirmation prompt, pick Yes.
  6. Click OK once the removal process is finished.

Uninstall FF Guarded Searching from Mac OS X system

Follow these steps, to eliminate PUP-related entries from Mac OS X:

If your macOS is displaying some infection symptoms, proceed with the following guide:

Remove FF Guarded Searching from Applications folder:

  1. From the menu bar, select Go > Applications.
  2. In the Applications folder, look for FF Guarded Searching-related entries.
  3. Click on the app and drag it to Trash (or right-click and pick Move to Trash)Uninstall from Mac 1

To fully remove FF Guarded Searching, you need to access Application Support, LaunchAgents, and LaunchDaemons folders and delete relevant files:

  1. Select Go > Go to Folder.
  2. Enter /Library/Application Support and click Go or press Enter.
  3. In the Application Support folder, look for any dubious entries related to FF Guarded Searching and then delete them.
  4. Now enter /Library/LaunchAgents and /Library/LaunchDaemons folders the same way and terminate all the FF Guarded Searching-related entries.Uninstall from Mac 2

Erase FF Guarded Searching from Internet Explorer (IE)

Remove dangerous add-ons:

  1. Open Internet Explorer, click on the Gear icon (IE menu) on the top-right corner of the browser
  2. Pick Manage Add-ons.
  3. You will see a Manage Add-ons window. Here, look for FF Guarded Searching and other suspicious plugins. Click on these entries and select Disable.Remove add-ons from Internet Explorer

Change your homepage if it was altered:

  1. Open IE and click on the Gear icon.
  2. Select Internet Options.
  3. In the General tab, delete the Home page address and replace it by your preferred one (for example, Google.com).
  4. Click Apply and then select OK.Reset IE homepage

Delete temporary files:

  1. Press on the Gear icon and select Internet Options.
  2. Under Browsing history, click Delete…
  3. Select relevant fields and press Delete.Clear temporary files from Internet Explorer

Reset Internet Explorer:

  1. Click on Gear icon > Internet options and select Advanced tab.
  2. Select Reset.
  3. In the new window, check Delete personal settings and select Reset again to complete FF Guarded Searching removal.Reset Internet Explorer

Get rid of FF Guarded Searching from Microsoft Edge

Delete unwanted extensions from MS Edge:

  1. Select Menu (three horizontal dots at the top-right of the browser window) and pick Extensions.
  2. From the list, pick the FF Guarded Searching-related extension and click on the Gear icon.
  3. Click on Uninstall at the bottom.Remove extensions from Edge

Clear cookies and other browser data:

  1. Click on the Menu (three horizontal dots at the top-right of the browser window) and select Privacy & security.
  2. Under Clear browsing data, pick Choose what to clear.
  3. Select everything (apart from passwords, although you might want to include Media licenses as well, if applicable) and click on Clear.Clear Edge browsing data

Reset MS Edge if that above steps did not work:

  1. Press on Ctrl + Shift + Esc to open Task Manager.
  2. Click on More details arrow at the bottom of the window.
  3. Select Details tab.
  4. Now scroll down and locate every entry with Microsoft Edge name in it. Right-click on each of them and select End Task to stop MS Edge from running.Reset MS Edge

If this solution failed to help you, you need to use an advanced Edge reset method. Note that you need to backup your data before proceeding.

  1. Find the following folder on your computer: C:\\Users\\%username%\\AppData\\Local\\Packages\\Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge_8wekyb3d8bbwe.
  2. Press Ctrl + A on your keyboard to select all folders.
  3. Right-click on them and pick DeleteAdvanced MS Edge reset 1
  4. Now right-click on the Start button and pick Windows PowerShell (Admin).
  5. When the new window opens, copy and paste the following command, and then press Enter:

    Get-AppXPackage -AllUsers -Name Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register “$($_.InstallLocation)\\AppXManifest.xml” -VerboseAdvanced MS Edge reset 2

Instructions for Chromium-based Edge

Delete extensions from MS Edge (Chromium):

  1. Open Edge and click select Settings > Extensions.
  2. Delete unwanted extensions by clicking Remove.Remove extensions from Chromium Edge

Clear cache and site data:

  1. Click on Menu and go to Settings.
  2. Select Privacy and services.
  3. Under Clear browsing data, pick Choose what to clear.
  4. Under Time range, pick All time.
  5. Select Clear now.Clear browser data from Chroum Edge

Reset Chromium-based MS Edge:

  1. Click on Menu and select Settings.
  2. On the left side, pick Reset settings.
  3. Select Restore settings to their default values.
  4. Confirm with Reset.Reset Chromium Edge

Eliminate FF Guarded Searching from Mozilla Firefox (FF)

First of all, you have to restart Mozilla Firefox in Safe Mode: Click menu button -> navigate to Help -> choose Restart with Add-ons Disabled -> click Start in Safe Mode button. Then you should be able to uninstall FF Guarded Searching or FF Antivirus, or similar entries. However, you can also reset the browser as explained below:

Remove dangerous extensions:

  1. Open Mozilla Firefox browser and click on the Menu (three horizontal lines at the top-right of the window).
  2. Select Add-ons.
  3. In here, select plugins that are related to FF Guarded Searching and click Remove.Remove extensions from Firefox

Clear cookies and site data:

  1. Click Menu and pick Options.
  2. Go to Privacy & Security section.
  3. Scroll down to locate Cookies and Site Data.
  4. Click on Clear Data…
  5. Select Cookies and Site Data, as well as Cached Web Content and press Clear.Clear cookies and site data from Firefox

In case FF Guarded Searching did not get removed after following the instructions above, reset Mozilla Firefox:

  1. Open Mozilla Firefox browser and click the Menu.
  2. Go to Help and then choose Troubleshooting Information.Reset Firefox 1
  3. Under Give Firefox a tune up section, click on Refresh Firefox…
  4. Once the pop-up shows up, confirm the action by pressing on Refresh Firefox – this should complete FF Guarded Searching removal.Reset Firefox 2

Delete FF Guarded Searching from Google Chrome

Delete malicious extensions from Google Chrome:

  1. Open Google Chrome, click on the Menu (three vertical dots at the top-right corner) and select More tools > Extensions.
  2. In the newly opened window, you will see all the installed extensions. Uninstall all the suspicious plugins that might be related to FF Guarded Searching by clicking Remove.Remove extensions from Chrome

Clear cache and web data from Chrome:

  1. Click on Menu and pick Settings.
  2. Under Privacy and security, select Clear browsing data.
  3. Select Browsing history, Cookies and other site data, as well as Cached images and files.
  4. Click Clear data.Clear cache and web data from Chrome

If the above-methods did not help you, reset Google Chrome to eliminate all the FF Guarded Searching-components:

  1. Click on Menu and select Settings.
  2. In the Settings, scroll down and click Advanced.
  3. Scroll down and locate Reset and clean up section.
  4. Now click Restore settings to their original defaults.
  5. Confirm with Reset settings to complete FF Guarded Searching removal.Reset Chrome 2

Remove FF Guarded Searching from Safari

Remove unwanted extensions from Safari:

  1. Click Safari > Preferences…
  2. In the new window, pick Extensions.
  3. Select the unwanted extension related to FF Guarded Searching and select Uninstall.Remove extensions from Safari

Clear cookies and other website data from Safari:

  1. Click Safari > Clear History…
  2. From the drop-down menu under Clear, pick all history.
  3. Confirm with Clear History.Clear cookies and website data from Safari

Reset Safari if the above-mentioned steps did not help you:

  1. Click Safari > Preferences…
  2. Go to Advanced tab.
  3. Tick the Show Develop menu in menu bar.
  4. From the menu bar, click Develop, and then select Empty Caches.Reset Safari

Do not let government spy on you

The government has many issues in regards to tracking users' data and spying on citizens, so you should take this into consideration and learn more about shady information gathering practices. Avoid any unwanted government tracking or spying by going totally anonymous on the internet. 

You can choose a different location when you go online and access any material you want without particular content restrictions. You can easily enjoy internet connection without any risks of being hacked by using Private Internet Access VPN.

Control the information that can be accessed by government any other unwanted party and surf online without being spied on. Even if you are not involved in illegal activities or trust your selection of services, platforms, be suspicious for your own security and take precautionary measures by using the VPN service.

Backup files for the later use, in case of the malware attack

Computer users can suffer from data losses due to cyber infections or their own faulty doings. Ransomware can encrypt and hold files hostage, while unforeseen power cuts might cause a loss of important documents. If you have proper up-to-date backups, you can easily recover after such an incident and get back to work. It is also equally important to update backups on a regular basis so that the newest information remains intact – you can set this process to be performed automatically.

When you have the previous version of every important document or project you can avoid frustration and breakdowns. It comes in handy when malware strikes out of nowhere. Use Data Recovery Pro for the data restoration process.

About the author
Julie Splinters
Julie Splinters - Malware removal specialist

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